#5 Bears Earn Top Three Finishes Across the Board In Day One At NCAA's To Advance On

#5 Bears Earn Top Three Finishes Across the Board In Day One At NCAA's To Advance On

May 27, 2005

Sacramento, CA - The fifth ranked Brown women's crew began its quest for another national title on Friday morning in the opening day of competition at the 2005 NCAA Women's Rowing Championships held on Lake Natoma in Sacramento, CA. The Bears varsity eight placed third in its heat to advance onto Saturday's semifinals while the second varsity eight and varsity four both took second place finishes to move onto Saturday's repechages. Head Coach John Murphy's team is in search of its fifth title in the last seven years.

The varsity eight took third in its highly competitive morning heat to start the day for the Bears. Coming in at a time of 6:23.50, Brown recorded the fourth fastest time out of all three heats, which includes 16 teams total.

Yale,which held a half length lead for the first 1500 meters, had a winning time of 6:22.02. Virginia came on strong at the end, finishing just 0.81 seconds behind the Bulldogs. Behind Brown was Tennessee in fourth with a time of 6:27.03, followed by USC and Wisconsin with times of 6:30.22 and 6:33.61 respectively.

In the other varsity eight heats, Princeton posted the fastest time of the day, easily winning its heat. Harvard beat out Ohio State for second place with just .06 seconds seperating the two crews. Michigan took fourth while UCLA took last in the five-team heat.

The final varsity eight heat was won by top-ranked Cal. Rounding out the top three was Stanford and Washington respectively.Michigan State took fourth while Syracuse placed fifth.

In the second varsity eight heat, Brown surged from fourth to second in the last half of the race to advance to Saturday's repechage races. The crew's time of 6:43.11 was the third fastest time out of 12 total teams competing. Only the top finishers in each heat of both the second varsity eights and the varsity fours automatically qualified for Sunday's grand finals.

Virginia had control of the race from start to finish as it posted a winning time of 6:38.15. Michigan State battled back from last place to finish a close third behind the Bears with a time of 6:43.79. Also in thr tightly packed finish was Yale, which took fourth just .03 seconds behind the Spartans. Washington and Princeton closed out the race in fifth and sixth respectively.

Cal placed first in the other second varsity eight heat while Ohio State took second. Michigan rounded out the top three while Harvard, USC and Wisconsin failed to advance straight to Sunday's grand finals. The crews will have to hope for a win in tomorrow's repechages to compete in the finals.

Brown's final race of the day was the varsity four heat. The first 1000 meters was a nose-to-nose battle between the Bears and Virginia until the Cavaliers were able to break free, finishing just over four seconds ahead of Brown. Michigan took a distant third while Brown's Ivy foes took the final three positions (Yale in fourth, Princeton fifth and Harvard sixth).

In the other varsity four heat, Washington took first followed by Cal, Wisonsin, USC, Ohio State and Michigan State.

Brown was just one of three teams to place all three of its boats in the top three of its heats. Cal took first place finishes in both varsity eight races and second in the varsity four while Virginia took first in its second varsity eight and varsity four heats along with a second place finish in the varsity eight.

Brown's varsity four will compete in the 9:30 a.m. repechage while the second varsity eight will race at 10:00 a.m. The Bears' varsity eight semifinal will be held at 10:30.